The new Kia Stonic has been unveiled as the company’s entry into the highly competitive compact crossover market.
The B-SUV segment accounts for 1.1 million sales across Europe each year, and Kia expects this to double by 2020. Some customers will be downsizing from larger SUVs, but most are likely to be moving from conventional hatchbacks.
Like most new entrants in the segment, the Kia Stonic has rugged go-anywhere looks disguising conventional hatchback underpinnings, so don’t expect any genuine off-road talent. With a choice of one diesel and three petrol engines, all with manual transmission, the Stonic is front-wheel-drive only. But, like every other faux-by-four on the market, it’s unlikely to bother customers.
The Stonic’s styling is aggressive although still recognisably part of the Kia family, and the company plans to offer up to 20 two-tone colour combinations. Inside, you can expect touchscreen infotainment, state-of-the-art smartphone connectivity and colourful personalisation options.
The Kia Stonic will go on sale across Europe in the third quarter of this year. UK pricing and specifications have yet to be announced, but we’ll keep you posted.